As President Trump presses for states to reopen their economies, his administration is privately projecting a steady rise in the number of COVID-19 (coronavirus) cases and deaths over the next several weeks. The daily death toll will reach about 3,000 on June 1st.
What We Know:
- According to an internal document obtained by The New York Times, the predicted daily death toll to 3,000 by the start of June will be approximately a 70 percent increase from the current number of about 1,750.
- Further projections, based on government modeling pulled together by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), forecast about 200,000 new cases each day by the end of the month, up from about 25,000 cases a day currently.
- For the past 7 weeks, the United States has made many efforts to try slowing the spread of the virus, such as social distancing and increased testing, but reopening the economy too soon could undermine all that work and make a second wave even deadlier.
- “There remains a large number of counties whose burden continues to grow,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned. As the administration privately predicted a sharp increase in deaths, a public model that has been frequently cited by the White House revised its own estimates, doubling its projected death toll.
- The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington has developed meticulous estimations of 135,000 deaths in the United States through the beginning of August, more than double of what is reflected now, when the original estimate was only 60,000 in the same timeframe.
- The institute explained that the revisions reflected the “rising mobility in most U.S. states as well as the easing of social distancing measures” which over 40 states now plan to implement by May 11.
Should projections confirm the primary fear of public health experts, the nation will be right back to where it was in mid-March, when cases were rising so rapidly in some parts of the country that patients were dying on gurneys in hospital hallways.